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Messages - goldphinga

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1
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: The Rhodes Mark 8
« on: November 09, 2021, 01:21:37 PM »
Goldphinga-- Thanks again for taking the time to answer our questions. I can only imagine how busy you are right now with the launch.


I have a few more I'd love to know if you could share some light on them.


1. What was the design/sound inspiration for the new preamp? Is it designed to replicate the sound of the Peterson (or any of the other preamps) or is it supposed to be something completely new? Also, why not use more concentric knobs instead of spreading the preamp out?

It's supposed to give the truest uncoloured sound of the piano when set flat, but to add beautiful musical colour when the features are used such as EQ, drive, envelope, or panning. It's an-all new design from the ground up and not based on anything previously. This wasn't about trying to recreate the past but to simply take the core Rhodes sound forward in new ways, all in one self-contained instrument. My vision was ultimately to have the quality of a Neve, Amek or API preamp, coupled with Moogerfooger quality analogue effects. The panning circuit is hugely flexible too so it can sound like a Peterson doing bulb panning, or a Janus and LOTS more besides- inc. ring mod, crazy noises, talking vowel sounds, synth textures/layers, pulsing sounds, it's very unique in its abilities.


2. What model year(s) are the pickups based on? I know they have gone through a few revisions so I'm curious if the MK8 is sticking with a previous design or if these are completely new.

The pickups are a new design but again are simply designed to bring the best out in the MK8 and retain the classic Rhodes soul, with a new shaped pickup head that allows the precisely cut tines to get dead on the end of the pickups. The pickups will saturate nicely and also have an anti-slip design so when you tighten them down they don't move out of the desired postion. Sound-wise, they are fat with plenty of clarity and punch, espeically in the mids, with nice clarity at the top and a round extended low freq response.

3. How similar are you able to get each MK8 off the assembly line? I know the sparkletops and early MK1 Rhodes could often be very different even if they were right next to each other during production. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing for voicing as it helped give each Rhodes a distinct voice but it could also mean one would play quick and responsive and the next would be slow and sluggish.

They are all setting up very consistently. This is something that was important from day one and the piano has been designed so that it sets up as close to the same every time. We have very tight setup procedures and measurements and this has been made achievable by really improving part and manufacturing tolerances and methods, pushing the Rhodes technology into new areas- so that effectively  now it's a precision-built and setup instrument.

4. I know you did a lot of research on the design of the harp and harp supports so can you share with us once and for all: What is the benefit/effect of wooden pickup/tonebar rails vs some sort of lighter composite?

We tried many materials during the dev process but wood rails are time proven and work well, and now with modern processes we can make these as precisely as possible too. The rails carry a lot of weight and have to also absorb vibrations well, plus they need to look great, drill well, hold the screws well, and not warp- there is still no better material than the highest grade baltic birch imho, at least for this piano.


5.Same question but for the aluminum harp supports. I know people have spent years arguing about how the wood harp supports are a big part of the early sound but I am guessing that if you kept the wood on the top but not the supports that's probably not true.

The wood vs alu supports has weirdly become a thing but it really isn't a thing!! The impact aluminium has on the sonics vs wood should really have been put to bed a long time ago, as it really isn't a contributing factor to how great a Rhodes can sound. The alu rails simply allow much better tolerances, decrease setup time required and enable more consistency during production, plus they give the piano extra strength and less opportunity to warp and twist. Also we coated the alu in the piano to reduce any chance of internal reflections (no shiny surfaces) so really, there is zero advantage to wood supports imho. Alu supports are a big part of the MK8 and it really benefits from them. If we had made the frames from wood, tolerances would be nowhere near as exact, build time would increase and it would not be as roadworthy either. That's all very important to the MK8.

Thanks for the info

Pleasure! d

2
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: The Rhodes Mark 8
« on: November 08, 2021, 12:52:14 PM »
The way the new tines are made and the tolerances involved are completely new (the block, wire material and whole assembly is completely unique to the MK8 and different to any previous Rhodes tine).

That appears to answer my question of "will Rhodes be offering any replacement tines for older models"  :-\

But they fit in the same way to any older piano…  8)

3
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: The Rhodes Mark 8
« on: November 07, 2021, 04:28:40 AM »
goldphinga-- First, let me just say thank you for helping bring the MK8 to market in the first place. Regardless of what anyone on this (or any other) forum says about the MK8, I know we are all happy that it managed to happen at all. I do truly wish the best for the MK8 (and whatever future products you have planned).

Thank you for the support. We just wanted to build the best Rhodes we could and really push the instrument forward. This is not about recreating the past but retaining the classic Rhodes tone whilst truly moving the instrument into the future in a sensitive way. The exciting thing for me is that the MK8 and the hybrid/new technologies that we have developed for it provide a very flexible ecosystem/platform which we can utilise far into the future.

My answers in line below:

I have a few questions that I'd love to know if you can share info on them.

1. What era are your new tines based on? I know VV says theirs are based on 1974-75 Torringtons. Did you start with a specific Rhodes and try to match the sound or are these tines not supposed to replicate any specific model year?

We simply wanted to create a great sounding tine that embodied the unmistakeable classic Rhodes tone from across the eras. During development of the new tines, I had a 1969 MK1 with felt hammers, 1972 MK1 suitcase, 1979 MK1 suitcase, 1980 MK2 suitcase and 1984 MKV in the lab alongisde the MK8 protototype. The tines have the clarity of later models, with the fat round-ness of the earlier models too- so the idea really was to make a tine that could represent all the eras. The way the new tines are made and the tolerances involved are completely new (the block, wire material and whole assembly is completely unique to the MK8 and different to any previous Rhodes tine).

2. Same question but for the hammer tips. I believe the Rhodes site says there are 4 hammer zones. Why only 4? I know VV and others have tried to find ways to increase the amount of zones so I was surprised to see the MK8 have less than previous models.

One word- material. The entirely new hammer tip material allows us to have all the sonic benefits of neoprene but with much better resistance to cracking and hardening, whilst keeping its elasticity. Also the shore values are tightly controlled throughout the production process which has allowed us to reduce the number of tip zones and transition points across the keyboard.

3. Will there be demo models avalible for people to try? I know you can't put one in every Guitar Center across America and Europe with only 500 total but will there be at least one in LA, NYC, London, etc?

Yes, we are just working on this at the moment and we will have demo units across the globe soon. I'll come back with more on this once we have it all in place. It's a huge logistics operation but we are on it.

4. Merch! I know a lot of people (including myself) can't afford the MK8 but would buy a new Rhodes T shirt, hoodie, hat, etc in a heartbeat. Any chance of anything like that happening soon?

And yes to this too- we will have a merch store on the www.rhodesmusic.com website soon.

Happy to answer more questions, let me know and hope this answers everything for now


Thanks again for everything you are doing for the Rhodes legacy

4
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: The Rhodes Mark 8
« on: November 05, 2021, 04:25:22 PM »
Hi :-)

What about the Rhodes-direct-to-Amp lovers? Do you consider an all-passive version?

regards, Jens :-)

You can run direct from the send on the Fx accessory loop for a direct passive pickup signal. A passive piano… 8)

5
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: The Rhodes Mark 8
« on: November 05, 2021, 02:32:38 AM »
goldphinga -- Great to hear from you in this thread.  No need for us "speculatin'" when we can get the word from the source - thanks!  If you developed this with artists and were answering an expressed need, all the power to you. As I mentioned in an earlier post on this, I hope you can bring artists visibly into the picture -- especially if they can use your custom effects to dial in a new "signature sound".  That could help bring the masses calling.  And seriously - if a Mark Ronson can work the MK8 into a session -- or you can get it on stage behind a well known hip hop artist or a neo-soul throwback like the new Mars-Paak project, you can dial into a new generation of players. 

I guess I should ask -- as was discussed above, are you looking to stay small with an ongoing limited issue - or are there mass marketing plans in the works?

We are on with talking to many artists at the moment, so def expect more on that front very soon. We will have lots of great visual and audio content coming on top of the sound clips and website that are already out there. Regarding staying small- well, we have some very big plans, the flagship MK8 is just the start, we obviously want to get Rhodes products into the hands of as many musicians as possible.

6
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: The Rhodes Mark 8
« on: November 04, 2021, 03:30:56 PM »
spave - I think you're on to something.  I'd want to hear the new Rhodes in person to give it the benefit of the doubt.  But imperfections and unintended uses are what players accessed to put soul into these instruments.  Hammond key click, leakage and foldback -- even distortion in a guitar amp (originally seen as a design flaw to overcome) -- have become part of the player's vocabulary.  The extraneous piano action sounds (damper noise) and feel (escapement) are now being built into most higher-end digital pianos to create realism. 

This is related to the issue I have with the suite of onboard effects on the MK8.   Tinkering and experimenting with an instrument's output is how players have achieved their signature sounds.  Especially for an analog instrument -- and during a time when players are returning to the tactile and the analog -- adding what amounts to a multi-effect unit (even though they claim it's technically "analog") feels dated.  You see it in the guitar world.  Boutique amps boast simplicity and tone.  Players string together their personal choice of effects on a pedal board.  Digital multi-effect units and amps with 200 COSM effects are passe.

Maybe I'm wrong.  But I have the impression that the effects module was the brainchild of the builders and technicians--not at the recommendation of artists.   That's how FM synthesis started - and we know what happened with that.  (How do you like that DX7 "Rhodes" sound?)  I may be showing my age, but simple is better.

Hey guys, firstly, the piano still has all those lovely noises we all love, dont' worry. It still has all those special Rhodes characteristics! Second, the effects were my initial idea in collaboration with our team & artists during our research for the MK8. The majority of players we spoke with (including myself) wanted all the classic effects they love, built in so they didnt have to carry another pedal board with them when touring and playing sessions. Also the effects though familiar by name are built specially for the MK8 from the ground up and they were conceived as part of the instrument since day 1. And interestingly enough the majority of our sales so far have been FX models. However, if you don't want them you can spec the piano without of course.




7
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: New Rhodes?
« on: July 18, 2021, 10:42:22 AM »
Thanks everyone! Looking forward to showing you what we've been cooking up soon  :)

8
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: New Rhodes?
« on: July 08, 2021, 10:33:21 AM »
Hey everyone, very happy to finally announce my official appointment as Rhodes' Chief Product Officer. As always, I'm here to assist and answer questions as appropriate and I will continue to be an active member on here, as I have been since the forum's inception. Everyone at Rhodes firmly and respectfully supports this amazing community of like-minded Rhodes and EP lovers and we are all very excited to show you what we have been working on soon. And just to add- we promise to honour and respect the amazing legacy laid out by Harold Rhodes  whilst taking things into the future...Thanks for your support and all the best.

Dan

9
Yeah, I like to move the treble side around until the tone is the clearest, as well as the bass end. Always try the top notes, lowest notes and some around middle C.

10
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: New Rhodes?
« on: May 23, 2021, 10:55:29 AM »
Maybe JD73 can tell us more about that? ;-)

Jenzz

 ;)

11
Stunning work Christian! Will you be selling those wood cheeks in your webshop?

Cheers
Dan

12
Thick back rail felt is the secret sauce I use. But you have to also mod the entire rest of the action. The results make any Rhodes play better than ever before. But you have to REALLY know your stuff to make it work. Once you crack it, there’s no going back...

13
A word of warning don’t use pliers. I typically use one of those screw drivers which has an empty shaft for using removable bits. Put the key pin in the shaft of the screwdriver and gently lever the key pin (only if required) and in as few steps as possible as you don’t want to damage the hole.

To echo what Tim said, definitely DO NOT USE PLIERS.  The previous tech on mine did and the pins have the scars to prove it.  I ended up using a pencil cut in half ( a wooden dowel would have been a better choice) and gently tapped that against the pin with a rubber mallet until the key was squared up.  Shimming and leveling is a piece of cake its just kind of boring, grab a beverage and something flat and level and get to it.

Thank you both! Pliers it is then hehe :P

I just finished removing the last of the bumps - hooray! I've noticed there was lots of gunk left on the underside of the hammer cams where the previous felts has been. I will clean that off so that they are smooth.

When depressing the keys (before aftertouch) should the hammer tips all reach the same height give or take a couple mm's?

I see that some are much higher/lower in no obvious pattern - sometimes by 10/20mm. This can be within the same grouping/section. The keys themselves are pretty much the same height when taken out and laid side by side - both the key front and the pedestal height. The hammer cams seem to be equal too so it's a bit odd that they can rest at such varying heights when depressed.



A few of the balance pin bushings fell apart as I lifted the keys. Are they tricky to replace? I see that there are special tools and jigs for this - I suppose I will need the correct tools to to it?






The hammers should not be uneven like this. The things contributing to this amount of even-ness can be a poorly installed miracle mod (prob the no.one cause in this case)- so the bumps are in the wrong places and as you have already mentioned, glue left on underside of cams (these need to be super clean and polished up), unevenly installed pedestal felt and possibly uneven back rail felt that's worn, bunched up or full of gunk. Personally speaking, I would remove this miracle mod and start again if it's this uneven up and down the keyboard. BUT first, get the key heights and dip to factory specs, and go from there.

14
I think you should name who the tech is, this is not acceptable work at all. I would never, ever, let any Rhodes out of my workshop in that state and then to call it a pro level service? WTF!! Without a properly regulated keyboard and action, you simply can't have a decent result. There are too many errors here it's embarrasing. I would ask for some money back and have the work re-done.

15
I saw your video on Facebook, but really we need to hear some direct audio from the piano first- also close up photos of the tips and insides will be helpful.  8)

16
The Daphon Choruses are amazing for the money. Sounds much like a CE-2

17
Please don’t rip it apart. We recently resurrected one here  from the dead and although it was a lot of work it was worth it to keep this important piece of Rhodes history complete. You can find the schematics on the supersite. Here’s a video I made about the ek10 we worked on: https://youtu.be/kAexuDS7AL0

18
I stand by the advice I gave earlier (with respect of course). Every restore/service I do, I change the tips and the piano has ALWAYS without fail sounded and played more evenly than before. It's obviously up to the individual vendor or customer or repair place what they want to do, but for me, I don't believe keeping original tips is in any way beneficial- unless tips available from current vendors don't suit the tone they are after, but that's something I don't often run into. Some direct audio of the piano would be helpful in this instance too. Peace y'all!


19
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Repair/service Rhodes Mk2
« on: September 19, 2019, 05:14:04 AM »
Tim Hodges at Bristol Electric Piano Company is your man for the South West!

20
Hang on a sec- theres is no mention that this particular piano the OP has posted about is the Valente! Seems to me like it might be something completely new?

It's real for sure. I had to vet the whole thing before I allowed them post.

You can see the piano in action here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hh9qXy8mRoQ

Aha fair do's!

21
Hang on a sec- theres is no mention that this particular piano the OP has posted about is the Valente! Seems to me like it might be something completely new?

22
... :o

23
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Pickup Wiring
« on: June 11, 2019, 10:40:38 AM »
Depending on where the corrosion is you can sometimes repair them. If you want to send them to me (PM me for details/price, Im based in Leeds UK) I can try repair them for you, though the disclaimer is it's not always possible depending on where the corrosion resides. If it's on the exposed bit of wire that comes out of the coil then we are good, if not then its a case of rewinding, or replacing them with new ones from Electric Keys. Currently I'm not in a position to offer rewinding yet, (but will be soon).  8) Cheers!

24
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: Woven Damper Felts
« on: May 22, 2019, 03:34:20 PM »
Yep, these are not woven felts. They are standard felts that are grooved and glued to a red cloth layer as has been said. Woven felts were used on late MK2's and V's and did a much better job of stopping the tines, thought they do start to unravel over time.

25
What model of rhodes is this, and also what grommets did you use? Ive heard this chirping on MKV's which use the rubber standoffs- the lack of a second screw though good for sustain, makes the sound less stable in this area. So my thoughts are the grommets you've used may be too soft, and/or the springs are incorrect and possibly the screws are not mated well to the grommets used. Did you use VV grommets AND screws together? Or did you leave the old screws and put in new grommets? Its gonna be a process of elimination here. Also, as has been said, make sure the tine is tight to the tonebar and also that the screw and grommet is correctly seated in the tonebar too. When replacing the grommets and screws make sure that you seat the grommet in by hand so it mates correctly with the tonebar and centres into the spring nicely, THEN put the screw in- dont put them in together as you wont necessarily get the optimum alignment and seating which can cause the washers to vibrate and the tonebar assembly to not hold tight.

26
My advice would be to try softer tips in this area, (its not futile to change out tips at all!) Give some square 'white' tips a blast from VV which are softer than the standard graduated white tips and see if this improves things or alternatively, extend the yellow tips upwards into the white tip area and see if this helps.

Also, you can shave a little off the tip edge to remove the grooves and this will likely help too if you don't want to change out the tips. Also, changing out the grommets and screws in this area may well help- hardened grommets give a more pronounced attack. It may just be that changing the grooved tips for new white graduated tips will do the job too. But you are correct in as much as these tips and the woodcore tips do groove up quicker than other areas...

27
If the original Peterson is working as it should, they sound great stock. I'd experiment trying a few different pedals in the FX loop first. There's also a tweeter mod you can do but I havent done it myself, Im very happy with the stock Peterson sound.

28
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / Re: MKV Hammer Tips
« on: February 14, 2019, 09:21:12 AM »
Yeah the VV bass tips are definitely harder, the rest work great for me in normal config now that Ive played the piano in a bit and my ears have now gotten used to the extra harmonics since my first post. I kinda like the harder tips in the bass as you get more 'zing' in the top end, however you do notice the transition from these tips to the next more. VV suggest using their red angled tips instead for the MKV bass range, these are the same as bass end square tips but angled. (softer rubber essentially).

29
Parts, Service, Maintenance & Repairs / MKV Hammer Tips
« on: January 26, 2019, 09:35:53 AM »
Hey guys. Im currently working on a MKV, only the 2nd Ive worked on as they are very rare here in the UK. The original tips were very grooved so I couldnt keep them. Anyway, I installed a VV graduated tip set which I generally use for all post 75 pianos and they work great on every piano Ive used them in. However, the MKV is a different beast. The woodcore sounds great, the second hardest tips sound good (if a little duller than expected) and the other ranges (red, green, yellow) sound great yet with a lot more overtone and less deep bass. (Thats my observation anyway).

I'd love to get any insight or tips on the ranges and type of tips you use to get an even tone across the board. When you're renovating a MKV what are you using?

Any info much appreciated. Not much out there regarding replacing tips on a V and whats the best way to go. Im going to experiment myself this week and will report back but thought Id ask anyway.

Cheers


30
The Fender Rhodes Electric Piano / Re: Hammer height
« on: January 06, 2019, 07:44:25 AM »
This is an issue with many rhodes and is often a head scratcher. It can be a combination of many things or one of these things from the list.

- not all keys cut the same from factory
- key warping
- worn back rail felt
- worn pedestal felts
- badly placed miracle mod bumps or badly made original bumps from factory
- hammer combs not screwed down fully
- uneven bridal strap/damper tension
- debris under keys or on back rail felt
- keys not seated properly
- keyframe warped or not screwed down properly
- action rail warped or not screwed down properly

Check all of these and report back!

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